Waiting on Wednesday (88) – Rivals and Retributions

Rivals and Retributions
Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
To be released: August 7, 2012
Summary (from Goodreads):
Marlaena’s pack puts more pressure on the Rusakova family with the kidnapping of Jessie and the surprise that comes from triggering the wolf side of Pietr once again. Alexi realizes the impact of Pietr’s change sooner than either Jessie or Pietr and rushes to find a permanent cure for the life sentence lycanthropy brings in hopes it will squelch an unexpected side-effect. But Gabriel is still not satisfied with his role in the pack and is determined that getting rid of Pietr permanently in his new and weakened state is the best way he can grab power in the pack. Meanwhile at Junction High, the company’s meddling with the school food may have stopped but it doesn’t mean all of the kids the food triggered are suddenly without powers. With the enrollment of the rest of the pack’s pups, Counselor Harnek, Sophie and Jessie decide to try training the pups alongside the other powerful misfits. But Dmitri’s influence is far-reaching and even pacifist Gareth must make a dark decision or risk the destruction of everything he holds dear
So if you couldn’t tell by how my blog is all WoW, I’m very behind on blogging. My fault, life has gotten in the way. I read Destiny and Deceptions, the fourth book in the 13 to Life series and really need to post my review for it, but in the mean time I thought I’d share the fifth book in the series.
I really love this series, and Shannon Delany is awesome. And with the ending of the 4th book I really cannot wait for this next book. Seriously, want now!
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany

Bargains
and Betrayals

Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Griffin
Release Date: August 16,
2011
Series or Standalone:  13 to Life #3
ISBN:  9780312609160
Format: ARC
Pages: 307
Websites:
Rating: 5 Stars
I just want to start out by
warning you this is a long review but I do not care because I have a lot to say
about this wonderful little book. It’s also completely free of spoilers from
previous books and this book. And it’s a long review filled with lots of love.
I did not think it was
possible for me to love the 13 to Life series anymore than I already did, but Bargains and Betrayals proves I can love
it even more. And boy, do I love it. I have previously reviewed both 13 to Life and Secrets and Shadows here on the blog and have confessed my love for
them, but Bargains and Betrayals blew
me away. Everything about Bargains and
Betrayals
was spot on: the writing, the characters, the story. Everything.
So initially I was a bit
worried about this book because Shannon Delany decided to do something a little
different in the third book in this series which was to tell the story from
both Jessie’s and Alexi’s point of view. Up until this book, the story had been
told only from Jessie’s point of view so this switched worried me a bit.
However, as I was reading, I realized this decision worked perfectly. It was
really interesting to learn more about Alexi and see a different perspective on
the story. There was a lot about Alexi that I did not know about before this
book but I learned through his point of view. One thing that Shannon Delany was
really good at was deciding when to switch between the point of views of the
two characters. Every time the story jumped from Jessie to Alexi or vice versa,
it made perfect sense and the story continued to flow as one. I really hope
that Shannon Delany continues utilizing multiple point of view in future books
in this series because it really adds to the writing and the story. And I would
really like a book that has Max’s perspective, but that’s just cause I love
Max.
Shannon Delany’s writing in
this book was her best yet. I feel like the writing in this book was the strongest
it has been in the series. Shannon Delany was able to balance the really
serious scenes with some hilarity which I always love. But seriously, this book
had so many beautifully written in lines and phrases that I was in love. I
actually have a list of them because they were just perfect. One of my favorite
quotes in the entire book was “Sometimes are hearts should rule our heads.” It
just really describes the feeling of the book for me and was such a great line
in the scene. I definitely feel like that as this series has gone on the
writing has gotten stronger in each book and truly, the writing was the best in
this book so far. It flowed perfectly and had some really heart breaking scenes
and lines.
Bargains and Betrayals was one of those books that I was very emotionally
invested in. So much, that at points I was yelling at the book because I did
not want characters to do something that I knew they were going to do anyways.
I was very into this book, so into that I found myself talking to (in a good,
not crazy way). Which leads me to the story. The stakes were definitely the
highest they have been for Jess and Pietr and the Rusakovas. I’m going to keep
this spoiler free for previous books, but if you know what happened in Secrets and Shadows I bet you can figure
out why. A lot of what happened in Bargains
and Betrayals
I seriously did not see coming. I should have know from the
title that there would be huge bargains and huge betrayals, but seriously, I
did not think some of those bargains would ever occur, nor some of those
betrayals. This book changes everything for the characters. A lot of things
happen that will have a huge impact on their lives in the following books. I
really want to talk about some huge spoilery things in the book, but will hold
back because you need to experience them on your own. The story will keep you
on the edge of your seat and even have you yelling at some of the character’s
choices.
One of my favorite things in
this book was the character development. Jessie, Pietr, Alexi, Max, Kat, Amy,
Derek, Sarah, Wanda, and Leon have come so far since 13 to Life and there growth is really apparent in this book. Pietr
and Jessie have come so far. They are drastically different people because of
what occurs in Bargains and Betrayals. I
really like the people Jess and Pietr have become. I love how both of them are
willing to put those they love first. New depth has been added to the
characters in this book. I just want to say, I still love the same characters,
like Jessie, Pietr, Max, Kat and Alexi but my hatred for some characters * cough * Derek * cough * grew even more. I
felt like some of the decisions the characters made in this book really will
define them in coming books and change who they are.
Also,
I really need to talk about Pietr and Jess’s relationship in this book. It was
perfect. Seriously, this is what their relationship should have been from the
beginning. Jess and Pietr truly care for each other and I felt their
relationship really shows that. When you see what each of them risks for the
other, what they give up for each other, it tugs at your heartstrings. Also,
there was a certain scene in this book that was done perfectly and made me
extremely happy and you will definitely know what it is when you read it.
Now,
I have to sit back and wait until Destiny
and Deception
comes out. And once again, the wait is going to be torturous
because of the ending. Shannon Delany really knows how to write an ending that
leaves you wanting more. When I got to the ending of this book, I did not
realize there was no more pages left and then burst out “What?” because it just
another killer ending. I want Destiny and
Deception
now to find out what happens next!
Bargains and Betrayals is by far the best book in
the 13 to Life series. If you haven’t
read this series I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up and read it. Each book gets
better and better and I cannot wait to see where Shannon Delany takes the story
next in Destiny and Deception.

Review: Secrets and Shadows

Secrets and Shadows
Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Pages: 320
Source: Author
Ratings: 5 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’ realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother – and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more…
I didn’t think it was possible for me to love this book series anymore than I already did, and then came along Secrets and Shadows. I loved 13 to Life so much, but Secrets and Shadows blew my mind. Shannon Delany has written an amazing sequel that will leaving you wanting more!
There is so much I want to say about this book but just do not know how to put into words. Shannon Delany literally takes you on such a ride on this book. The story picks you up and does not let go until literally the last page. And boy, does she know how to play with your emotions, especially when it comes to Pietr and Jess’s relationship. I literally loved every minute of reading this book. I could not put it down until I got to the end.
So much happened in this book that I felt was extremely important to the series as a whole. I do not want to spoil anything that happens but a lot of big stuff goes down. Like A LOT! Even though a lot happened in this book, it did not feel like so much happened that it was impossible to comprehend everything going. Every thing flowed so well that when things were revealed they just clicked into place. The story flowed so well, it felt like I was reading for such a short amount of time when I got to the end but really hours had passed I was so engrossed in the story.
I have to say, I loved the character progression in this book. All the characters from the first book all grew and more of the secondary characters in the first book became major players in this book. I really liked learning more about each of the Rusakovas, especially Max. I became a huge fan of Max after this book. In the first book, I loved Pietr, I still love him to death, but Max really grew on me in this book and I love him for other reason than I love Pietr. I really loved what Shannon did with Derek, he became a very important person in this book, and not just because Jess liked him. And Sarah. Ugh. I never really liked her in 13 to Life, but in this book, she is just horrible. I do not want to talk to much about Jess and Pietr because I feel I will let something spoilery slip and I don’t want to do that. But I love their relationship, I was really glad Jess finally admits that she does not like Pietr being with Sarah. There are some really great scenes between Pietr and Jess, even if they are not what I wanted to occur.
There were so many great scenes in Secrets and Shadows, but my favorite has got to be the Halloween/Birthday party at the Rusakovas’ house. This scene was just perfect. A lot of great things happened, their was tension, and Max being, well, Max. Definitely my favorite scene in the entire book.
AND THE ENDING! Boy. Does Shannon Delany know how to write an ending that leaves you wanting more. I’m not always a fan of cliff hanger endings, but this one got it completely right. I was literally in shocked speechless by the end of the book.
This book was awesome. I was so involved and so engrossed in reading it. I wanted to laugh, scream, cry, and hug parts of this book. This book far surpassed anything I was expecting. I am completely in love with it, even more so then the first book. Even though I have a signed ARC of this book, I’m still going to be picking up a finished copy of Secrets and Shadows when it is released. In fact, I have it pre-ordered. Now if only it were August so I could read Bargains and Betrayals

Review: 13 to Life

13 To Life
Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Pages: 320 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (From Goodreads):

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction… 

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort. 

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide–secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

I have found my new favorite book series. 13 to Life is one of my favorite books I have read this year. I loved every page of it. 13 to Life is not a typical paranormal romance, it encompasses much more than that; it is a story of love, loss, trust and friendship.

There was so much to love about this book that its hard to decide where to start. The characters truly made the story. Jessie is such a strong, amazing character who is a much better person than most. As I read 13 to Life, I kept realizing how Jessie is a much better person than I will ever be, she is so admirable. A person like Jessie is someone people should aspire to be. After losing her mother, as a reader you can feel Jessie’s pain. The grief and sadness she feels is real and relatable. Yet even though Jessie is in pain, she is able to put others feelings before her own. I loved that Jessie cared more about her own friend Sarah’s feelings than her own, forcing Pietr to date Sarah even though Jessie and Pietr had feelings for each other. Jessie is a friend I would want. However, Jessie might be to good for her own sake, which I believe will end her in trouble in coming books, especially trouble with Sarah (who is not the innocent, nice girl she appears to be). 

This book has provide me with a new guy to love; his name is Pietr. Oh my god. I have a new character crush. Pietr is Russian and just came to small town Junction. The chemistry between Pietr and Jessie jumps straight off the page and was so real. Jessie and Pietr needed to be together no matter how hard Jessie pushed him toward Sarah. Pietr is his own complex character, much like Jessie, dealing with the loss of both his parents and some other more complicated matters. I’m looking forward to learning more about him, his family and his past in the coming books. 

I really, really loved this book. It did not have that typical story arc that appears in most young adult paranormal stories. Instead the plot was more character driven and not focus on the werewolf thing. The story felt real and relatable, even though mythical beings were in it. The end had plenty of action to sustain the book, and the ending left me desperately turning pages looking for more. I’m eagerly awaiting its sequel Secrets and Shadows out February 2011. This is one series I will be continuing reading.

Check out Mundie Moms chat from yesterday with Shannon Delany to learn more about the series and get some special goodies.